Approximately 35% of employee accidents in municipalities occur in police agencies. The four largest causes of these accidents are:
• Lifting and body mechanics (25%)
• Motor Vehicle (17%)
• Fall Downs (15%)
• Assaults (12%)
The videos Safe Patient Lifting for Emergency Responders, Stop and Think to Avoid Back Pain, Driving During Emergencies and Natural Disasters and Smart Moves to Avoid Falling Down address these issues. Any governmental agency may down load and use these videos.
Research has shown that agencies that are up to date in safety training experience substantially fewer employee accidents. Many joint insurance pools and insurers offer classroom and on-line training courses to supplement the Department’s in house training capabilities. Periodic de-escalation training is especially important to reduce assaults on officers. School resource officers should also receive training to de-escalate incidents with special education students.
Agency accreditation is another strategy to reduce accidents. Accreditation is a certification process that determines if a police agencies written policies and training meet basic standards. The two most widely accepted accreditation programs are offered by the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
One of the most dangerous positions in law enforcement agencies is school crossing guard. Officers who are assigned this duty should receive the same training as regular crossing guards. This web page has an extensive section on crossing guard safety .
Research has also shown that the accident rate for the entire agency can be substantially reduced by reminding officers of basic precautions for a few minutes at the beginning of each shift.